Krantz Stable Updates

A Difference In Perspective

The metal skiff had been green some years ago but the paint had worn away from constant use. When the skiff was new it worked the treacherous waters of the Atchafalaya River with its swift currents and whirlpools. A sun darkened thin man used the boat to commute between his worn pick-up truck and a larger boat containing the tarred hoop nets he used to fish on Whiskey Bay. Now, some years later the skiff was used as a base of operations for emptying crawfish nets and traps he set along the banks of the large pond created on the lowest portion of his pasture land at the edge of the Atchafalaya Basin. The water of the pond varied from knee deep to chest deep as he walked slowly towing the boat by a yellow nylon rope attached to the bow. Several five-gallon buckets in the boat contained cut up fish or old chicken parts for bait. Each wire mesh crawfish trap was emptied into a red plastic sack and the bait replaced. At even intervals along the bank steel d-shaped spring loaded leg traps were baited for crawfish predators. Each day in addition to the crawfish he would gather coons, mink, nutria and an occasional bobcat from the traps as he made his rounds. On some days when the weather wasn't to harsh a small boy accompanied him as a passenger in the skiff with the buckets and sacks and assorted collection of animals. He was rugged and ruff to match the physical work he had done throughout his life. He spoke English but was much more at home in the French dialect of the Acadians that most of his generation spoke. His name, Onizeme, is an oddity in today's world but fit well with his time. He was quiet, but a beacon of security for all those who knew him.

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On Being Normal…

Well let's see.... We thought a trip to the Big Apple might be a good get away after the trauma of this past year. Austen had commitments at home so he stayed while Ashlee got to go play. While FAO Schwarz closed some time ago, the Toys R' Us in Times Square is a pretty good substitute. The three-storied Ferris Wheel is a focal point of interest but the other toys are pretty neat too. We did manage to find Austen some souvenirs that took a little sting out of not making the trip.

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Riding Out The Storm

It looked as if a night of dark intent
Was coming, and not only a night an age.
Someone had better be prepared for rage.
There would be more than ocean water broken
Before God's last put out the light was spoken

Robert Frost

Hours of waiting pass beneath the darkened sky. The house is quiet and your mind begins to wander into strange places. Reflections of the recent past and how it will impact the future begins to play in review. Along with the fresh scars of life, old memories of tales from long ago, of people and places playing out as echoes across the depths of your memory. This is just as it has been for generations during the calm before the storm.

A fearful storm approaches as the angry yellow clouds gather. If you breathe deeply you can taste the salt. With another breath there is another sensation of something fresh, something cold in the breeze, the scent of lightning. With all terrible storms there is great loss but also survival. Something more than surviving the power outages of a near miss, something as dramatic as suffering real loss in your life. The deep scar of a loss of something you love and can't replace.

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When Destiny Calls

Our travel team arrived in Vinton at Delta Downs about three in the afternoon, making me about an hour late for a Louisiana Breeders Board meeting but leaving lots of time for Vickie and the rest of the crew to entertain themselves. Before boredom set in, a trip to the receiving barn was organized to see how Destiny Calls shipped. Jerry Delhomme had a horse in the first race and was stabled nearby. His sons, Jake and Jeff, were there to help out. Vickie quickly made friends with their horse and became immediately impressed with the closeness and down-to-earth qualities of the Delhomme family. Jake's stint as a backup quarterback for the Saints allowed him to come to the track often with the horses shipping in from Breaux Bridge. His spectacular season as the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers' run to the Super Bowl hasn't changed him at all. Horses are part of his life and part of his family. The group passed some time visiting, sharing the quiet time at the barn with the horses before returning to the frontside of the track for the races.

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Tuesdays are pretty quiet around the Fair Grounds during the racing season. The race week begins on Thursday and finishes on Monday. All administrative activities are scheduled in parallel with the race week, so Tuesday is the only "dark day" for everyone. The track is open for training from 6 to 10 in the morning, and shortly after the activity of the morning, the quiet settles in.

Vickie parked in front of the roll up door at the front of the barn -- the spot where the horses are led out to have feet and legs toweled off after the hot walkers have finished making laps around the shedrow when the cooling-out routine is finished. The holiday bustle has passed and today there aren't many errands to attend to. She eases the door up and ducks into the quiet of the barn. Most of the stall doors are darkened but several have heads and necks of the occupants visible, hanging low over the webbings, securing the front openings of the stalls.

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